Celebrating Faiz – Poetry, Independence & Free Expression

The creative powerhouse called The Hive is hosting an evening commemorating the life and works of the poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz tomorrow. There will be film screenings, readings and discourse on the life of Faiz. There will also be a special poetry feature by six poets, including me.

I’ve been experiencing the power of poetry these past few months, how it allows a thinker to shape their deepest emotions in a way that touches other people, moves crowds even. Art, activism and social commentary are closely linked to each other and I’m privileged to be a part of the space in some manner.

Come and support the cause of culture and free expression. These are the details of the event:

On: August 16, 8 pm to 10 pm
At: Huma Mansion, opposite Ahmed Bakery, Chuim Village Road, Khar (W).
Call: 9820998790
Cost: Rs 200
Tickets available at the venue
Mid-Day ran a feature on this event today here.

Lurker

I never said hi
Or so much as a may I
Before I read
The words that you’d bled
Onto the screen
The only go-between
From you to this reader unseen

I never offered praise
Or observation on your ways
Or shielded you
From barbs the others threw
No response, no judgment
No replies to the questions you sent
Out into ether, not even acknowledgment

I watch you
That’s what I do
You entertain, you amuse
You also provoke thought, when you so choose
Your missteps, your very frailty leaves me nothing to say
It’s also the reason I’ll never go away
Where your words go, my mind will follow
Unquestioning, silent every step of the way

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

A long, very long time since I rhymed. So long ago that I even heard creaks in my head when I was turning over each word. But many of them just happened so I didn’t agonize over the ones that didn’t.

As a blogger, I know the frustration, the maddening silence of the vast majority of my readers. The ones that never comment, never answer a poll or a question, never show me their existence except in the mysterious numbers on my stats charts. But oddly, I also know the side of me that clicks through every album visible to me on the social network, spends an entire night reading every post on a particular blog, ego-surfs the names of people I know slightly (or better)….and never mentions a word of it to the person it’s about.

I know that person, by nature, is never acknowledged publicly. There’s a heavy stigma around the word ‘lurker’ with associations of creepiness and stalking. But perhaps because the newfound title of writer gives me carte blanche to be curious, maybe because I can explain it away in the pretty sentence of “Every person has a story”, I acknowledge the lurker in me.

This post is for all those nameless people, you know who you are, who’ve kept me pondering and wondering and agonizing. But really, it’s also for the people whose lives I’ve vicariously lived, who’ve shared with such generosity, the important moments of their lives, in blogposts and photographs, the people in whose lives I lurk. Thank you for everything.

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